T+L Design Awards 2008
© Thomas Whiteside
Commissioner of City Planning of New York
City planning can sound a bit like an oxymoron especially in New York, a place where it's hard enough to make dinner plans, let alone shape neighborhoods, erect skyscrapers, or create new parks. But Amanda Burden, commissioner of City Planning of New York since 2002 and this year's T+L Design Champion, has managed all those things, and brilliantly. She is dedicated to ambitious, innovative architecture—“It makes the city young and compelling,” she says—but most of all she is a proponent of public spaces: parks, sidewalks, and promenades, the life of the street the soul of the city. Born to the rarefied world of New York society (her father was Stanley Mortimer, an heir to the Standard Oil fortune, and her mother was Babe Paley), Burden is now making her mark on the fabric of the entire city, from the redevelopment of Coney Island to the High Line (seen here last year), a unique elevated park set to open next fall.
From the article T+L Design Awards 2008